Letters, July 26, 2012

Kenneth Peel, from Norton, takes full advantage of the local countryside and the good weather in this picture.
Kenneth Peel, from Norton, takes full advantage of the local countryside and the good weather in this picture.

IN response to the recent article in the Doncaster Free Press inviting Doncaster residents to feedback their views on the proposal to introduce a by-law to ban spitting in Doncaster by DMBC, my thoughts are quite simple.

DMBC struggles at times to cut the grass across the borough, keep our streets and parks clean and free from litter.

For me, dog fouling is a much bigger health and safety and dirty issue than spitting.

I’m not saying that I condone spitting in public streets/areas but who realistically will police this proposed by-law and enforce prosecution?

In Mexborough, where I live, I would say that less than half of dog owners pick up their dog’s mess on our local park and I haven’t seen a DMBC dog patrol for years! Nor do I see people being fined for their actions.

So come on DMBC/Mayor Davies, let’s be realistic and try to do more to tackle our current community issues rather than create more bureaucracy which you won’t be able to manage effectively!

Sean Gibbons, Highfield House, Mexborough

Do we really need this?

HOW nice of Mr Poskitt, managing director of GMI Properties to consider our unemployment problem.

To begin the task of a £10 million leisure development on our fast disappearing countryside, and guess what, it will include a pub, drive through restaurants and a terrace of six cafes.

Just what Doncaster needs, all of which gives great pleasure to our mayor Peter Davies who seems hell bent on restoring all that’s green with concrete, to mimic the Americans.

Would Mr Davies tell us what is to become of the land adjacent to the proposed Robin Hood link road?

Mr B Doane. Coronation Road, Stainforth

Don’t put dogs’ lives at risk

WITH the great British summer finally upon us, Dogs Trust has teamed up with the National Trust and AA to launch the ‘Hot Cars Can Kill Dogs’ campaign to remind people not to leave dogs alone in cars. Our advice is:

* Never leave your dog in the car alone - with temperatures easily reaching over 40 degrees in some parked vehicles, dogs could die within minutes. Parking in the shade with the window down does not make it safe!

* Ensure you keep your dog as cool as possible when driving: avoid travelling during the heat of the day, use sun blinds and open a window to allow for a cooling breeze

* Ensure you have a supply of water as dogs can suffer from dehydration very quickly

* If you do see a dog in distress please contact your local police station or the RSPCA.

Anyone wanting advice about travelling with their dog should visit www.dogstrust.org.uk or contact 020 7837 0006.

Paula Boyden, Dogs Trust Veterinary Director

Hard work to save theatre

I WOULD like to refer to the letter from David Hankinson in last week’s Free Press regarding the Doncaster Grand Theatre.

I would point out that the first campaigner to save the Grand was the late Brian Laurence.

He called a meeting at the Girls’ High School with many supporters in 1995, sadly he passed away a short while ago. He along with the Doncaster Civic Trust succeeded in getting the building Grade 2 Listed, this listing has been updated. The Friends have the full backing and support of Theatres Trust and we have attended endless meetings over the years to try and reach an agreement with the various owners. A business plan and feasibility study have been professionally drawn up and letters have been sent from our solicitors to the present owners, who just ignore all correspondence from us and our legal team. The mayor and various council officials and our MP have had no result either.

But it was Brian Laurence and the Friends who acquired some 60,000 signatures to save the Grand; Mr Nortrop was at one time one of the supporters but he and his associates formed their own group many years ago, which I believe was called the Grand Preservation Group or similar.

The Friends do have the support of Roy Hudd, Ken Dodd, Paul Daniels, Lesley Garrett, Prince Edward, but to name a few. Sadly these names do not get us the theatre.

We are in touch with the DMBC Conservation Team and the town centre manager who do regular checks on the building, and work has been done recently on the roof and the ingress of water from various points, but obviously there is deterioration on the building, having said this, it is the responsibility of the local authority to see that the theatre is kept wind, water tight and in a reasonable state of repair, as set down by English Heritage.

It would take an Act of Parliament to remove this Listing so at this stage there is no fear of demolition.

I strongly object to the expression used by Mr Hankinson when he says “that the Save the Grand Theatre Campaign has amounted to nothing more than ‘wind and pith.

I wonder if he realises how much work members of the trust, the committee, members, volunteers and myself have put into this project?

Margaret Herbert, Chairman of The Friends of Doncaster Grand Theatre, The Boulevard, Edenthorpe

What a load of rubbish

I RECENTLY wrote a letter regarding how some of our dustbin men leave the rubbish behind that they drop.

So, continuing my tidy up campaign - which I fully expect the council to ignore - I would like to mention the lack of rubbish bins in Stainforth.

The people of York started complaining because quite a few of their rubbish bins had been removed by the council and what they were left with were too far apart.

That probably made a few people laugh because it has always been like that in Stainforth. It is a fair distance to what few we have got, and we never had enough in the first place.

Surely they can see that if a few more were added more rubbish would be put in the bins and there would be less on the floor?

When we walk the streets we are thoroughly ashamed with what we see, rubbish lying all over and it is a right eyesore.

So please Doncaster Council can we have a few more waste bins? It might just help to keep our streets a little tidier.

It is a complete waste of time approaching our local councillors because they do not listen to what we have to say and there will be quite a few more residents of our towns and villages who feel the same about theirs. If we want anything doing we always have to ask Doncaster Council themselves and occasionally our complaints are dealt with and we are satisfied with the outcome.

This matter needs looking in to and it may help and it is only a suggestion because the litter situation is getting worse.

John Lyne, Stainforth

The forgotten Story of Suez

I’ve written a book, ‘Suez: The Hidden Truths’ which details those turbulent years of the Suez Campaign of the early 1950s, when thousands of troops, many on National Service were sent to defend the canal zone, often facing appalling conditions.

Even though many of the men who died were only in their teens, we were inexplicably denied a medal. However, after a long campaign, this injustice has been righted.

Within this ‘forgotten Army’ hundreds perished and are buried in the sand at British Military cemeteries in Egypt.

Indeed, from this failed adventure, can anything be learned today in the context of Afghanistan? As in the Suez conflict, brave men are sadly being killed and maimed once more.

My book costs £7, including P&P, with memories galore.

John Hunt, Suez Veteran, 14 Carrfield, Bamber Bridge, Preston, PR5 8BS

Hard times but fond memories

YOUR article about the squatters hostels on Queens Drive in Bentley brought back memories for my two eldest sisters both now in their seventies.

My father was advised by the doctor to leave the pit. Unfortunately at this time the house where they lived was for colliery workers only.

In August 1946 the family heard about some hostels on Queen’s Drive at Bentley which had originally been erected for the Bevan Boys and had now become vacant. A number of families in similar situations to ours decided to become squatters in these hostels. There was one outer door which lead to a long corridor. Off this corridor led a number of rooms on either side. Once the occupant had gained access to one of these rooms it was up to the individual to partition it off as they wished. My father along with my mother’s cousin Derrick and other family managed to gain access to one of these rooms and sectioned it with three blankets. The first section was used as a sitting room come dining room, the second section was used as my parents bedroom and the last section was used as my sisters’ bedroom. Once the blankets were in place my dad was helped by Derrick to move an armchair into the sitting room. Larger furniture was carried on a horse and cart. The only problem was that the council had locked the doors to this accommodation and they could only gain access via the window.

My sisters thought getting in and out of the window was fun. However they had to change from Highfields school to Kirkby Avenue school at Bentley which they didn’t like because my sister told me that they were looked down on by other pupils at the school.

My parents and other parents who were in a similar situation joined forces and they marched to the council offices with a petition asking them if they would unlock the doors. The council agreed to do this if the residents would pay a small rent which one of the residents could collect and pay to the council.

However, there was no cooking facilities in this hostel and my two older sisters would take the Sunday joint to my maternal grandmothers at Highfields and then go back for it the following day when she had cooked it in her coal oven. My second eldest sister Margaret, didn’t mind this, particularly if it was pork because she would be eating the crackling on the bus on her way home. My Mother cooked the rest of the meal on aPrimus stove. The residents had built a brick barbecue and once a week all the residents would gather and enjoy a jacket potato done on the barbecue. A fish and chip van would also call once a week.

It was not too long before it was realised this lifestyle could not be kept up for much longer and the family moved back to live with my maternal grandparents.

My sisters were pleased about this because it meant they could go back to Highfields school. They had been at this school from being an infant and they had done part of their junior days there. They would also spend there senior school days at the same school.

We think we’ve hit hard times but, my sisters tell me they wouldn’t change their childhood memories for anything.

Jane Stapleton, Humber Close, Skellow.

Reader Photo:

HAVE you got a great photo you’d like to share with Doncaster Free Press readers? Then why not send it to us and you could see your picture on this page! Whether its scenery, buildings, people or places - if you’ve taken a picture simply email it, along with your details to editorial@doncaster
today.co.uk and mark the subject line “Picture of the Week.” This week’s picture comes from Kenneth Peel, from Norton, who took full advantage of the local countryside and the good weather in this picture.